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The Battle Over Bilingual Ballots

Author: James Thomas Tucker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317040570
Size: 30.62 MB
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In recent years, few federal requirements have been as controversial as the mandate for what critics call 'bilingual ballots'. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 included a permanent requirement for language assistance for Puerto Rican voters educated in Spanish and ten years later Congress banned English-only elections in certain covered jurisdictions, expanding the support to include Alaska Natives, American Indians, Asian-language voters and Spanish-language voters. Some commentators have condemned the language assistance provisions, underlying many of their attacks with anti-immigrant rhetoric. Although the provisions have been in effect for over three decades, until now no comprehensive study of them has been published. This book describes the evolution of the provisions, examining the evidence of educational and voting discrimination against language minorities covered by the Act. Additional chapters discuss the debate over the 2006 amendments to the Voting Rights Act, analysis of objections raised by opponents of bilingual ballots and some of the most controversial components of these requirements, including their constitutionality, cost and effectiveness. Featuring revealing case studies as well as analysis of key data, this volume makes a persuasive and much-needed case for bilingual ballots, presenting a thorough investigation of this significant and understudied area of election law and American political life.

Political Parties And Elections

Author: Anika Gauja
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317078721
Size: 10.65 MB
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Political Parties and Elections presents a comparative analysis of the ways in which advanced industrial democracies seek to regulate the activities of political parties in electoral contests. Actual political practice suggests that parties are crucial actors in democratic elections, yet the nature and extent to which parties are regulated, or even recognized, as participants in the electoral process varies greatly among nations. Author Anika Gauja analyzes the electoral laws of five key common law democracies with similar parliamentary and representative traditions, similar levels of economic and political development, yet with significantly different electoral provisions: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Using the relationship between law and politics as a lens, the book focuses specifically on the ways in which these jurisdictions seek to regulate the behavior of their political parties as the product of a broader normative vision of how representative democracy ought to function. In its subject matter, comparative scope, and interdisciplinary theoretical framework, this book examines not only electoral law but also ancillary legislation such as funding regulations, associations and corporations law, and constitutional provisions. It also analyzes the case law that guides the interpretation of this legislation. Political Parties and Elections represents an innovative body of research, comparing for the first time the electoral-legal regimes of a significant number of common law nations.

Group Representation Feminist Theory And The Promise Of Justice

Author: Angela D. Ledford
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317124456
Size: 80.56 MB
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There has been much important work done in the past two decades in America on issues of under representation based on social differences such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and age. While this scholarship has examined the ways in which women and racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities suffer disproportionately on measures of full citizenship, social class and culture have received relatively little attention. This new study addresses various manifestations of social class and cultural difference as well as their implications for political representation. The analysis demonstrates how three of the most influential feminist theorists who write about political representation conceive of group representation, identify the problems that group representation claims to remedy, and assess the strengths and weaknesses associated with these models. Using theoretical argument, the volume suggests practical electoral reform in order to encourage new and emancipating forms of political engagement. It will be of value to those interested in public policy and governance, political theory, gender studies and law and society in general.

The Unintended Consequences Of Section 5 Of The Voting Rights Act

Author: Edward Blum
Publisher: A E I Press
ISBN: 9780844742571
Size: 37.82 MB
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The book highlight the real-world consequences of the changes to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Edward Blum draws on public records, press accounts, and extensive personal interviews with state and local officials to reveal the transformation of the VRA from a law protecting voting rights to a gerrymandering tool used to further the electoral prospects of incumbent politicians of all races.

Language Conflict And Language Rights

Author: William D. Davies
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107022096
Size: 26.68 MB
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An overview of language rights issues and language conflicts with detailed examination of many cases past and present around the world.

Language Loyalties

Author: James Crawford
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226120164
Size: 57.72 MB
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As late as 1987, two-thirds of the Americans who responded to a national survey believed that English was the official language of the United States. In fact, the Constitution is silent on the issue. Since Senator S. I. Hayakawa first proposed an English Language Amendment in Congress in 1981, Official English has been considered in forty-seven states and adopted by seventeen; the amendment is pending in the 102d Congress. Supporters argue that English has always been our common language—a means of resolving conflicts in a nation of diverse racial, ethnic, and religious groups, and an essential tool of social mobility and cultural integration. Opponents charge that the amendment is unnecessary and that it threatens civil rights, educational opportunities, and free speech, wrapping racist biases in a cloak of patriotism. Language Loyalties: A Source Book on the Official English Controversy provides a balanced, comprehensive guide to this complex and often confusing debate. It is an essential handbook and reference for advocates, educators, policymakers, jurists, scholars, and citizens who seek to join this debate fully informed. Addressing the issues involved in developing America's first planned national language policy, James Crawford has expertly collected and introduced more than eighty-five source documents and articles.

Stealing Democracy

Author: Spencer Overton
Publisher: W W Norton & Company Incorporated
ISBN: 9780393330939
Size: 13.17 MB
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A critical analysis of the practice of partisan control over ballot boxes identifies how such practices as voter selection, booth distribution, and district boundary setting are used to manipulate the outcomes of key decisions, suggesting options for the restoration of democratic self-government. Reprint.

The Future Of The Voting Rights

Author: Sharyn O’Halloran
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
ISBN: 1610441893
Size: 23.81 MB
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The Voting Rights Act (VRA) stands among the great achievements of American democracy. Originally adopted in 1965, the Act extended full political citizenship to African-American voters in the United States nearly 100 years after the Fifteenth Amendment first gave them the vote. While Section 2 of the VRA is a nationwide, permanent ban on discriminatory election practices, Section 5, which is set to expire in 2007, targets only certain parts of the country, requiring that legislative bodies in these areas—mostly southern states with a history of discriminatory practices—get permission from the federal government before they can implement any change that affects voting. In The Future of the Voting Rights Act, David Epstein, Rodolfo de la Garza, Sharyn O’Halloran, and Richard Pildes bring together leading historians, political scientists, and legal scholars to assess the role Section 5 should play in America’s future. The contributors offer varied perspectives on the debate. Samuel Issacharoff questions whether Section 5 remains necessary, citing the now substantial presence of blacks in legislative positions and the increasingly partisan enforcement of the law by the Department of Justice (DOJ). While David Epstein and Sharyn O’Halloran are concerned about political misuse of Section 5, they argue that it can only improve minority voting power—even with a partisan DOJ—and therefore continues to serve a valuable purpose. Other contributors argue that the achievements of Section 5 with respect to blacks should not obscure shortcomings in the protection of other groups. Laughlin McDonald argues that widespread and systematic voting discrimination against Native Americans requires that Section 5 protections be expanded to more counties in the west. Rodolfo de la Garza and Louis DeSipio point out that the growth of the Latino population in previously homogenous areas and the continued under-representation of Latinos in government call for an expanded Section 5 that accounts for changing demographics. As its expiration date approaches, it is vital to examine the role that Section 5 still plays in maintaining a healthy democracy. Combining historical perspective, legal scholarship, and the insight of the social sciences, The Future of the Voting Rights Act is a crucial read for anyone interested in one of this year’s most important policy debates and in the future of civil rights in America.

Contested Transformation

Author: Carol Hardy-Fanta
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316824519
Size: 11.19 MB
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Contested Transformation constitutes the first comprehensive study of racial and ethnic minorities holding elective office in the United States at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Building on data from the Gender and Multicultural Leadership (GMCL) National Database and Survey, it provides a baseline portrait of Black, Latino, Asian American, and American Indian elected officials - the women and men holding public office at national, state, and local levels of government. Analysis reveals commonalities and differences across race and gender groups on their backgrounds, paths to public office, leadership roles, and policy positions. Challenging mainstream political science theories in their applicability to elected officials of color, the book offers new understandings of the experiences of those holding public office today. Gains in political leadership and influence by people of color are transforming the American political landscape, but they have occurred within a contested political context, one where struggles for racial and gender equality continue.